Publication Date

January 2013


Objective: I investigate whether urban growth boundaries (UGBs) contribute to the exclusion of racial minorities and/or have an effect on levels of racial residential segregation. Methods: I study 43 pairs of places throughout the U.S. (each pair is comprised of a place with a UGB and a place without a UGB but is otherwise similar to its partner). I use Census data and a residential segregation index from 1990 and 2000 for blacks, Hispanics, and whites. I compare changes in the number of in-migrating blacks and Hispanics to these pairs of cities as well as the amount of population growth in them, and also examine city pairs’ levels of residential segregation. Results: I find that UGBs do not reduce blacks’ or Hispanics’ in-migration or population size. Also, the results show that UGBs are not a cause of Hispanic-white segregation, but might contribute to a small increase in black-white segregation, though most places in this study have dissimilarity indexes in the low range. Conclusion: My results should reduce concerns that UGBs are a barrier to racial minorities.